The Brightness In Black Fellowship - StoryCorps
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The Brightness In Black Fellowship

Program Overview

The Brightness in Black Fellowship is a six-month, paid, non-residential, undergraduate fellowship program designed for rising junior and senior students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and community colleges, of which a cohort of six (6) fellows will be selected.

Selected fellows will play a vital role in bringing the mission of Brightness in Black to life as interview facilitators in the local community and during out-of-state events. 

At the start of the program, fellows will attend a comprehensive orientation and receive in-depth training in StoryCorps interview & archival methodology and community engagement practices.

Throughout the program, fellows will facilitate, record and help archive pre-identified interviews, as well as work on personal projects to coordinate and facilitate community and school-based recordings of their own choosing for Brightness in Black. Fellows will be given opportunities to participate in community-based learning workshops, as well as contribute input and feedback in support of the greater Brightness in Black initiative. 

At the heart of the program, fellows will explore two questions: How does the telling of individual stories create a more equitable, enjoyable and connected world, and, What does narrative change look like in action?

Fellows will receive personal and professional development, through training, practical experience and participation in a supportive learning community guided by StoryCorps staff, community partners, local content creators, and fellow students within the fellowship cohort.

There will also be mentorship and shadowing opportunities with the StoryCorps National Team.

The program is anchored by mindset coaching and mindfulness practices to support the fellows’ ability to nurture their well-being throughout the program and beyond.

Who Should Apply

The Brightness in Black Fellowship Program is designed for rising juniors and seniors (or final semester community college students) enrolled at an HBCU or community college within our anchor city regions.

In 2024, we will launch in the cities of Philadelphia and Atlanta, and accept applications from the following schools:

  • Philadelphia region: Cheyney University, Community College of Philadelphia, Lincoln University
  • Atlanta region: Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College

The fellowship is designed for students who are excited to learn and contribute to the goals of Brightness in Black and gain valuable experience engaging with members of the community. We seek applicants from any major who are interested in pursuing oral history, media creation, community-based storytelling practices, and/or championing narrative change in the Black community.

What you’ll be learning

The Brightness in Black Fellowship is designed with fellows’ growth and development in mind. Within the six-month program, a fellow can expect to: 

  • Develop skills and gain practical experience in facilitating, audio recording and archiving oral history interviews
  • Learn how to conduct outreach and engage community participants
  • Learn methods for integrating storytelling into organizational and personal practices
  • Learn the process for how an interview goes from recording to broadcast production
  • Explore concepts in narrative change
  • Enhance professional development through networking and learning experiences
  • Participate in a shared learning and community-building experience as a member of the fellowship cohort
  • Learn mindfulness practices to support wellbeing while working and beyond
  • Deepen social skills and human connection
  • Develop a possibility mindset
  • Obtain greater understanding of how a non-profit media company works



Start date: May 28, 2024

End date: Nov 29, 2024

As a Brightness In Black Fellow you will be considered a part-time employee of StoryCorps. Fellows can earn up to $10,000 over the course of the program.

From May to mid-August, fellows must be able to commit to working 24 hours per week at a rate of $21.00/hr.

There will be a one week non-paid break in August during your first week of classes.

From mid-August thru November, fellows must be able to commit to working 12 hours per week at a rate of $21.00/hr.

Please note: Fellows may be required to work evenings, weekends and/or holidays to meet the recording needs of the community partners. It is expected that the fellowship is your prioritized commitment outside of school.


The fellowship will take place both remotely through virtual sessions and onsite at the recording venues in your respective region (Atlanta or Philadelphia), or at an out-of-state event. Fellows will be required to travel throughout the city to partner sites for recordings. A travel stipend will be provided.

In June, there will be a one-week in-person training intensive in Brooklyn, NY (travel, lodging and meals will be provided).


Fellows will be issued necessary equipment, including a recording kit, to be utilized during the duration of the program. You will be responsible for transporting the recording kit (50 lbs, on wheels) to recording sites.


 Applications deadline: March 11, 2024